Now I know why it’s called Cow Slobber. When in blossom, spiderwort is a gorgeous
plant, beautiful blue flowers with sunshine yellow pistols and stamens. When it is dying and laying its stems on the
ground, it becomes a slimy mess. I’m not
really familiar with cow slobber, but it’s probably looks just like the
decaying gooey spiderwort mess I cleaned up.
Common names for herbs often refer to the plant’s appearance or to some reputed
medicinal quality. Botanical names
sometimes honor a person who “discovered” the plant. Spiderwort’s botanical name is Tradescantia after the plant explorer
who came from England to the New World in search of treasures to satisfy the
avid plant collectors in England. There were two Tradescant plant explorers,
father (1570-1638) and son (1608-1662). It
is probably John Tradescant, the Elder, who discovered spiderwort.
Early fall is a quiet time in the Moon Log Cabin herb garden
and the perfect time to tidy up. This is the last time the perennials in the
garden will be cut back. For plants that
do not completely regrow from the ground up, cutting back too late in the year
can encourage new growth that may not have time to mature enough to withstand
winter’s harsh temperatures. There may
not be many plants blossoming (only garlic chives), but visitors can still stop
by to smell the lavender and mints and munch on a garlic chive blossom.
Content provided with
permission by Sylvia Colles. If you'd like to volunteer to help in the Herb
Garden, download the volunteer form or just join us on one of the general
workdays. Questions for Sylvia (about the garden) may be relayed by
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